Is health care a right or privilege in the United States?
While there are no right answers to this question, it is necessary to be able to support your position with evidence, link medical ethics to your answer when appropriate, and cite the sources that you use in addressing the question.
Health care is a privilege attainable by the wealthy, a benefit provided solely at the discretion of an employer, a government subsidized insurance plan for the elderly or a charitable gift provided based on the goodwill of others.
The Founding Fathers declared that we are "endowed with unalienable rights, among them are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." There is no question that in order to have life we must have health. Yet there has been only limited constitutional language specific to this right. The "cruel and unusual punishment" clause of the 8th Amendment to the Constitution has been interpreted by the Supreme Court to require prisoners, as part of their humane treatment during detention, to be guaranteed the right to health care. Currently prisoners are the only group who are specifically granted the right to health care. It is probable that the founders of our country, if they could have predicted the importance of health care, would have granted that the same standard of humane treatment be extended to every citizen.
At the time of the framing of the Constitution--though meager in its scope compared to today's standards--health care was ...
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